You are on page 1of 7

Lewis 1


NAME: Barry Lewis DATE: Day Four*

SUBJECT OF LESSON: Parabolas- exploration NO. OF STUDENTS: 20

TIME ESTIMATE: 85 minutes GRADE LEVEL: 11th.

*It should be noted that my host teacher taught a lesson which introduced parabolas between my
Lesson Plan B and Lesson Plan C.

I. INTENDED STUDENT OUTCOMES (Behavioral Objectives)

1. In the study of algebra, students will understand the behavior of parabolas and the relationship
between parabolas and the quadratic functions that give them their shape. Students will
demonstrate their understanding by solving problems that depend on the features of a parabola.

2. Maine Learning Results-- F. Measurement: derive and use the distance formula. NCTM-- Algebra
Standard, Grades 9-12: analyze functions of one variable by investigating rates of change, intercepts,
zeros, asymptotes, and local and global behavior. NCTM-- Problem Solving, Grades 9-12: solve
problems that arise in mathematics and other contexts. CBHS-- Algebra II, Standard 4: be familiar
with quadratic functions.


1. Students will work in pairs on the first 3 problems of the parabola story worksheet (5 problems).
NN and I will circulate among students in order to clarify instructions and correct misconceptions.
Students will be evaluated for their ability to determine the product of two binomial expressions.
Upon completion, we will compare results as a class and discuss differences, if any.

2. Students will work in small groups on problems 4 and 5 of the parabola story worksheet (5
problems). These questions should create some nice crises. Regarding problem #4, NN and I will
advise groups. If a group solves this on their own, they will be invited to perform their solution on
the board and I will facilitate classwide conversation. Regarding problem #5, new instruction (finding
quadratic roots) will be required in order for the students to be able to move past this second


1. Student materials:
a. Parabola Story worksheet
Lewis 2

b. TOOLBOX-- Pythagorean Theorem

c. THINKBOX-- deriving the quadratic formula

2. Teacher materials
a. Draw parabola and x-y axes before class starts.

b. TOOLBOX summary on sticky easel paper

c. THINKBOX summary on sticky easel paper


1. Start class as usual, with 60 seconds of silence.

2. Groundwork [6 minutes]

a. “So, you’ve been studying parabolas. What’s a parabola?”

b. Ask for examples of parabolas. Describe others:

i) a shape (Cartesian plane)

ii) trajectory of water from hose (experience)

iii) slice through a cone (conic sections studied since 200 BC)

iv) things you kick, throw, launch (experience)

v) curvature of a lens-- glasses; spin casting (telescope mirrors); eye (“If you can see me, you’re
working with parabolas.”)

c. Features of parabolas:

i) axis of symmetry

ii) general equation y = ax2 + bx + c (“Quadratic? Why?”)

iii) illustrate parabolic structure, predictability, “well-organized” nature (briefly show focus,
directrix, equidistance)

3. Present story [6 minutes]

Lewis 3

a. “I brought you a parabola today.” Modify parabola and axes (already on board); add roads,
water; erase surplus. Graphic represents a section through the ground showing a canal that has
been built near the prime meridian (the y-axis). The water level is represented by the x-axis.
James Bond is escaping tank-driving nemesis, reaches western edge of canal, unfolds clever,
rocket-powered spy skateboard, skates down western slope, surfs across the surface of the
water, skates up the eastern slope and land on the eastern edge of the canal.

b. Supply the facts: of the story:

i) Engineers built the canal using the formula y = x2 – 13x + 12 .

ii) The vertical center line of the canal is located 6.5 meters east of the prime meridian.

iii) James Bond drops in when he is 8.5 meters west of the center line of the canal.

iv) James Bond ollies out when he is 6.5 meters east of the canal’s vertical center line

4. Problem Solving, part one [30 minutes]

a. Hand out Parabola Story worksheet and read through Unknowns nos. 1, 2, 3.

b. “What does the unknown ask you? What should you ask the story?”

c. Students will work in pairs. NN and I will roam, check-in, guide, etc.

d. solutions:

i) minimum at (6.5, –30.25); water depth is 30.25 m

ii) drop in at (–2, 42)

iii) ollie out at (13, 12)

5. Review results. Invite questions, comments, conversation..

6. Problem Solving, part two [42 minutes]

a. Read through Unknowns nos. 4, 5.

b. Students will work in small groups . NN and I will monitor progress.

c. First crisis. Solution to no. 4 requires the use of the Pythagorean theorem and the derivation of
the distance formula. This may be discovered wholly by students or in collaboration with NN
and myself, in which case that discovery should be performed on the board. Otherwise, or in
addition, some direct, classwide instruction/review will be needed.

d. Hand out TOOLBOX-- Pythagorean Theorem and post summary to board.

e. solution: distance = d = √ [ (x1 – x2)2 + (y1 – y2)2 ]

= √ [ (–2 +13)2 + (42 – 12)2 ] = √ 1125 = 33.54 m

Lewis 4

f. Second crisis. Solution to no. 5 requires finding the roots (zeros) of the
quadratic equation.

i) “How does the equation for this parabola (or any curve) locate points in the plane? What
do we know about the points of interest in this problem? What can the equation for this
parabola tell us about those points in the plane? What is the y-value for any point that’s
located on the x-axis?”

ii) y = 0 = x2 – 13x + 12 . “Now what?”

iii) Illustrate and discuss: m · n = 0 and (x + u) (x + v) = 0 .

iv) Conversation: “What does this suggest? What are we looking for? Can this help us find it?”

v) solution: x2 – 13x + 12 = (x – 1) (x – 12) = 0 ; x = {1, 12}

x-intercepts are at: (1, 0) and (12, 0) ; distance is 11 meters.

7. Provide THINKBOX-- using the quadratic formula, if needed.

8. Differentiation:

THINKBOX and TOOLBOX (see III. 1. b and c) are idea spaces intended to support students who
are interested in digging a little deeper into the concepts that drive the lesson plan or acquiring skills
for related, more complex procedures (THINKBOX), as well as students who need additional
support with, or even occasional review of, the more fundamental ideas and methods upon which
continued success in mathematics rests (TOOLBOX). TOOLBOX is also an instructional aid for the
development of procedural knowledge.

Other methods of differentiated instruction are: varied groupings (independently, pairs, groups),
alternative process formats (diagrams, symbolic language), the combination of concrete and abstract
content, and alternative manners of demonstration (private, public).
Day Four

Name: ________________________________

Block: ___________ Due Date: ___________

HOW _____ / 4


1.) The equation of the parabola is y = x2 –13x +12.

2.) The center line of the canal is located 6.5 meters E of the
Prime Meridian.

3.) James Bond drops in when he is 8.5 m W of the center

line of the canal.

4.) James Bond ollies out when he is 6.5 m E of the canal’s

vertical axis.


1.) How deep is the water? 1.) ________________________

2.) How high above water level is James Bond when he drops in? 2.) ________________________

3.) How high above the water is James Bond when he ollies out? 3.) ________________________

4.) After Mr. Bond ollies out, how far away is he from his nemesis? 4.) ________________________

5.) Across what distance of water did 007 surf? 5.) ________________________
Day Four

The Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean theorem is useful anytime we’re dealing with a right triangle. It describes the relationship
between the lengths of the two sides and the length of the hypotenuse. That relationship is expressed as

a2 + b2 = c2

where a and b are the sides of the right triangle and c is the hypotenuse. If we take the square root of each side of
the equation, we have √ c2 = √ (a2 + b2) , which is c = √ (a2 + b2) , as shown here:

The Pythagorean formula can be used to determine the distance between two points. Consider:

(x1, y2)

(x1, y1) (x2, y1)

Now, a = (x2 – x1) and b = (y2 – y1) in terms of the two distances between these three points on the Cartesian
plane. If we substitute these expressions for distance into the original Pythagorean formula, we have:

c = √ (a2 + b2) = √ [(x2 – x1)2 + (y2 – y1)2] ,

which is equal to the distance along the diagonal.

Day Four

The Quadratic Formula

You’ve been learning how to express quadratic trinomial equations as binomial factors, a form that allows
finding the zeros (roots) of that equation without too much grief, but only as long as we have that pair of
binomial factors. Then, y = 0 = (x + u) (x + v) for some values of u and v, and we can solve for {x1, x2}.

But not every quadratic equation can be factored by elementary means. For example, consider:

x2 + 12x + 6 = 0

Looks harmless. Can you factor it by the means you’ve learned? What does the logic table show? Which
two integer factors of 6 have a sum of 12?

Polynomials that can’t be factored by elementary means are called prime polynomials, and for those we
need another method of finding their roots. The roots of the expression above are:

x = {– 6 + √ 30, – 6 – √ 30}

Where did that come from?

Quadratic equations in the standard form ax2 + bx + c = 0 can be solved by using the quadratic
formula, which is written as:

x = [– b ±√ (b2 – 4ac)] ⁄ 2a

Use the quadratic formula to solve the following equations. A few things to consider about using this

(a) Be sure to write your equation in the standard form of ax2 + bx + c = 0 .

(b) If the x term is missing, what must its coefficient be?

(c) Be sure that the equation is set equal to zero.

1. x2 + 12x + 6 = 0 4. 2x2 + 7x +6 = 0

2. x2 + 8x = – 3 5. 2x2 = 47

3. x2 + 5x = – 1 + 2x 6. x2 + 6x + 12 = 0